Just when it felt safe to walk down the streets Islamophobia is highlighted in the public domain again

Just when it felt safe to walk down the streets Islamophobia is highlighted in the public domain again

Recently I wrote an article entitled Student power prevails over veil ban see link:


gordon-lyew I note with grave concerns that senior Libdem minister in the coalition is playing into the hands of the far right agenda viz EDL and BNP which the coalition has not learn the lessons of the history which they are basically saying we will adopt the French position of banning the veil in public I’m sure is in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 under articles 9-10 which states:

Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2 Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 10 Freedom of expression

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2 The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

ay_116214215David Cameron’s official spokesman said he believes “institutions such as schools” should be free to decide their own rules on uniform.

The spokesman ruled out the prospect of legislation on the controversial issue, but said this did not prevent organisations setting dress codes.

“The Prime Minister doesn’t believe Parliament should legislate on what people do and don’t wear on their local high street,” he said.

“Nonetheless, that is not incompatible with institutions having dress codes. Schools are an example but it is for institutions to take those decisions. There are legal frameworks within which all institutions operate.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also said he did not think the full veil was appropriate for airport security or the classroom; he did not want people in Britain to be told how to dress.

The comments came after Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne called on the Government to consider whether it should step in to protect young women.

Mr Browne said there may be a case to act to protect girls who were too young to decide for themselves whether they wanted to wear the veil or not.

“I think this is a good topic for national debate. People of liberal instincts will have competing notions of how to protect and promote freedom of choice,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“I am instinctively uneasy about restricting the freedom of individuals to observe the religion of their choice. That would apply to Christian minorities in the Middle East just as much as religious minorities here in Britain.

“But there is genuine debate about whether girls should feel a compulsion to wear a veil when society deems children to be unable to express personal choices about other areas like buying alcohol, smoking or getting married.

“We should be very cautious about imposing religious conformity on a society which has always valued freedom of expression.”

On Monday, a judge in London ruled a Muslim woman standing trial could wear a full-face veil but would have to remove it when she gives evidence.

And last week, Birmingham Metropolitan College was forced to drop a ban on the wearing of full-face veils due to public protests.

The college had originally banned niqabs and burkas from its campuses eight years ago on the grounds that students should be easily identifiable at all times.

But when a 17-year-old prospective student complained to her local newspaper that she was being discriminated against, a campaign sprang up against the ban, attracting 8,000 signatures to an online petition in two days.

After the college’s decision to withdraw it, Downing Street said Mr Cameron would support a ban in his children’s schools, although the decision should rest with the head teacher.

The Prime Minister has been under growing pressure from his own MPs for a rethink on current Department for Education guidelines to protect schools and colleges from being “bullied”.

Tory backbencher Dr Sarah Wollaston, writing in The Daily Telegraph, said the veils were “deeply offensive” and were “making women invisible”, and called for the niqab to be banned in schools and colleges.

Mr Clegg, speaking at the Lib Dem party conference on Monday, said: “I think one of the great things about our country is that … we allow people to express their identity, their faith, the communities to which they belong in the way in which they dress.

“There are some exceptions clearly. I don’t for instance think it is appropriate to have the full veil through security checks at airports.

“I think there is an issue about teachers having the right to address their pupils and their students face-to-face and make face contact.

“But otherwise I really do think it is important that we protect the British principle that as long as people are law-abiding citizens going about their business in a law-abiding fashion, we shouldn’t be telling people what garments of clothing they can wear.”

Let’s not forget that it was David Cameron who said in a speech recently:

David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so”.

In a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain’s “moral collapse”.

He said “live and let live” had too often become “do what you please”.

The PM said it was wrong to suggest that standing up for Christianity was “somehow doing down other faiths”.

Describing himself as a “committed” but only “vaguely practising” Christian, the PM admitted he was “full of doubts” about big theological issues.

 ‘Don’t do God’

But he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

“We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so,” he told the audience at Christ Church.

“Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or no faith – is somehow wrong.

“I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion.

“And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger.

“But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.”

Mr Cameron said people often argued that “politicians shouldn’t ‘do God'” – a reference to a comment famously made by former No 10 spin doctor Alistair Campbell when Tony Blair was asked about his religion.

“If by that they mean we shouldn’t try to claim a direct line to God for one particular political party, they could not be more right,” the PM said.

“But we shouldn’t let our caution about that stand in the way of recognising both what our faith communities bring to our country, and also just how incredibly important faith is to so many people in Britain.”

Mr Cameron also said it was “easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity”.

“Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France,” he said.

“Why? Because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths too.

“And because many of the values of a Christian country are shared by people of all faiths and indeed by people of no faith at all.”

Given what David Cameron has said why the Coalition is pandering to Far Right politics. This will be next on the agenda Sikh, Hindu, Buddha, Roman Catholics, Jews and the list goes on.

4569c6b61ab9c078d6cf2a6e102e3329A recent article by Councillor Waseem Zaffer who summed it up in a nutshell for me when he said:

Fear that Birmingham veils debate may trigger ‘Islamophobia’

Birmingham councillor said genuine debate was needed after Birmingham Metropolitan College dispute.

A senior Birmingham councillor has spoken of his fears that debate over Muslim face veils could spark a rise in Islamophobia.

Coun Waseem Zaffer, chairman of Birmingham City Council’s social cohesion board, pictured, spoke after Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne called for a national debate on whether the state should step in to stop young women having the niqab imposed upon them.

The Liberal Democrat MP said a “genuine debate” was needed on whether young girls could decide to wear the veil without outside pressure.

His intervention followed Birmingham Metropolitan College’s decision to drop a ban on full-face veils amid public protests, after the original policy was exclusively revealed by the Mail.

But Coun Zaffer said the issue had been “blown out of proportion”.

He said: “Probably 0.1 per cent of people in this country wear a niqab.

“To ask for a national debate on something that affects such a small number of people is ridiculous.

“We need a national debate on the bedroom tax and unemployment.

“I fear this will play right into the hands of the far right and lead to a rise in Islamaphobia. We need to nip that in the bud.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he did not want to see a state ban on religious clothing, although he agreed full veils were “not appropriate” in the classroom or airport security areas.


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